Strategies of redressing colonial land imbalances in Southern Africa: Lessons from Zimbabwe’s land reform programme
Mangwanya, Fulton Upenyu
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This study examined strategies of redressing colonial land imbalances in Southern Africa, paying particular attention to lessons from Zimbabwe’s “Fast Track Land Reform Programme” (FTLRP). The objectives of this study were: to identify critical areas of concern in the Zimbabwe’s land reform as a strategy for redressing colonial imbalances; to evaluate whether land reform is a panacea for poverty reduction in Zimbabwe; to assess the level of empowerment on resettled farmers brought by the land reform programme in Zimbabwe and to analyse lessons learnt from the FTLRP. The study was anchored on the self-determination, dependency, poverty alleviation and empowerment theoretical approaches as explained and explored by scholars such as Legault (2017), Ferraro (1996) and Kabeer (1999). Literature from various leading scholars such as Moyo (2005), Mashizha and Mapuva (2018) and Moyana (2002) was analysed in relation to the land question and colonial land imbalances. The study also made relevant references to some major Legislative Acts, policies related to land such as the Lancaster House Constitution, Communal Land Settlement Act (1982), the Land Acquisition Act 1985 and 1992, National Land Policy (1990), Constitutional Amendments No. 30 of 1990, No. 17 Act, 2005 and, No. 20 Act, 2013, Agricultural Land Settlement Act (Chapter 20:01) of 2004, the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (2007) (Chapter 14:33), amongst others. In order to come up with a comprehensive examination of the subject matter, data was gathered from eight of Zimbabwe’s ten provinces and two districts from each of the identified provinces which were purposively chosen. Issues related to redressing colonial land imbalances through the FTLRP were thoroughly examined using predominantly qualitative research approach where key informant interviews, direct observation, documentary analysis and focus group discussions were used as the data generation techniques. Participants were selected using purposive and snowball sampling methods and these were drawn from beneficiaries of the FTLRP, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, relevant local regional embassy officials, the academia, traditional leaders, Government officials, District Administrator’s office, War veterans, Civic organizations, local dominant political parties and policy formulators. The collected data was then analysed through content and thematic analyses. The study findings showed that several policies and strategies were coined by the GOZ in an attempt to redress colonial imbalances, however such efforts could not achieve the desired positive impact in a significant way. As a result, land reform, as a tool for redressing colonial imbalances in Zimbabwe and also in Southern Africa in general, remains an incomplete, yet important issue. Through accessing land, the majority of the beneficiaries from Zimbabwe’s FTLRP managed to escape poverty at household level and became better positioned in society as they gained the ability to be self-sufficient and better their lives through working on the land and/ utilisation of various opportunities brought about by having access to the land capital. Therefore, a number of lessons were drawn from Zimbabwe’s FTLRP. The land reform initiative resulted in a number of negative implications such as sanctions, decline in productivity, inequalities in the access to land, multiple farm ownership and a lack of agriculture financing. Nevertheless, there were also several positives that came with the FTLRP such as poverty reduction and economic empowerment. The negatives can be addressed by implementation of recommendations from the land audit, having a robust continuous land reform monitoring and evaluation mechanism in place.
Additional Citation InformationMangwanya, F. (2020). Strategies of redressing colonial land imbalances in Southern Africa: Lessons from Zimbabwe’s land reform programme. [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. University of Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe land reform
Fast track land reform